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pleasure and cheerfulness: all which are very proper and powerful means towards creating in us that holy attention and erection of mind, the most reasonable part of this our reasonable service.

Such is our nature, that even the best things, and most worthy of our esteem, do not always employ and detain our thoughts, in proportion to their real value, unless they be set off and greatened by some outward circumstances, which are fitted to raise admiration and surprise in the breasts of those who hear or behold them. And this good effect is wrought in us by the power of sacred music. To it we, in good measure, owe the dignity and solemnity of our public worship; which else, I fear, in its natural simplicity and plainpess, would not so strongly strike, or so deeply affect the minds, as it ought to do, of the sluggish and inattentive, that is, of the far greatest part of mankind. But when voice and instruments are skilfully adapted to it, it appears to us in a majestic air and shape; and gives us very awful and reverent impressions; which, while they are upon us, it is impossible for us not to be fixed and composed to the utmost. We are then in the same state of mind that the devout patriarch was, when he awoke from his holy dream, and ready with him to say to ourselves : Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not. How dreadful is this place. This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.'

Further, the availableness of harmony to proinote a pious disposition of mind will appear from the great influence it naturally has on the passions,

ich, when well directed, are the wings and sails of the mind, that speed its passage to perfection, and are of particular and remarkable use in the offices of devotion: for devotion consists in an ascent of the mind towards God, attended with holy breathings of sopl, and a divine exercise of all the passions and powers of the mind. These passions the melody of sounds serves only to guide, and elevate towards their proper object: these it first calls forth and encourages, and then gradually raises and infames. This it does to all of them, as the matter of the hymns sung gives an occasion for the employment of them; but the power of it is chiefly seen in advancing that most heavenly passion of love, which reigns always in pious breasts, and is the surest and most inseparable mark of true devotion; which recommends what we do in virtue of it to God, and makes it relishing to ourselves; and without which all our spi ritual offerings, our prayers and our praises, are both insipid and unacceptable. At this our religion begins, and at this it ends; it is the sweetest companion and improvement of it here upon earth, and the very earnest and foretaste of heaven : of the pleasures of which nothing further is revealed to us, than that they consist in the practice of holy music and holy love, the joint enjoyment of which, we are told, is to be the happy lot of all pious souls to endless ages.

Now it naturally follows from hence, which was the last advantage from whence I proposed to recommend church music, that it makes our duty a pleasure, and enables us, by that means, to perform it with the utmost vigour and cheerfulness. It is certain, that the more pleasing an action is to us, the more keenly and eagerly are we used to employ ourselves in it, the less liable are we, while it is going forward, to tire, and droup, and be dispirit. ed. So that whatever contributes to make our devotion taking, within such a degree as not at the same time to dissipate and distract it, does, for that very reason, contribute to our attention and holy warmth of mind in performing it. What we take delight in, we no longer look upon as a task, but return to always with desire, dwell upon with satisfaction, and quit with uneasiness. And this it was which made holy David express himself in so pathetical a manner concerning the service of the sanctuary: “As the hart panteth after the waterbrooks, so panteth my soul after thee, () God. When, O when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?'— The ancients do sometimes use the metaphor of an army, when they are speak ing of the joint devotions put up to God in the assembly of his saints. They say, we there met together in troops to do violence to heaven ; we encompass, we besiege the throne of God, and bring euch an united force, as is not to be withstood. And I suppose we may as innocently carry on the metaphor, as they have begun it, and say, that church music, when decently ordered, may have as great uses in this army of supplicants, as the sound of the trumpet has among the hosts of the mighty men. It equally rouses the courage, equally gives life, and vigour, and resolution, and unanimity to these boly assailants. Atterbury

ON THE EXCELLLENCE OF OUR CHURCH SERVICE, 1. The language, wherein our service is performed, cannot but be of use to fix and keep alive our attention. It is our own mother tongue, what all of us are acquainted with, and can therefore listen to with delight, because we understand it. There is a church, whose public prayers are put up in a language unknown to the greatest part of those who are to join in them. But how can the heart be af fected by the mere sound of words, while it is ut. terly a stranger to their meaning? The public de votion therefore of an unlettered papist must needs be one continued scene of distractions and wanderings from the beginning to the end of them,

Nor are our offices drawn up only in our own tongue, but in the most easy and plain parts of it, which lie open to Christians of the meanest capacities and attainments. There is nothing fantastical in the expression of them; no vain use of such hard phrases, as tend rather to amuse and puzzle, than to instruct common hearers : nothing which approaches to that mysterious, enintelligible way of speaking, in which some, either deceiving or deceived Christians, delight; nothing that savours of singularity, hypocrisy, or enthusiasm. Whatever we meet with there i, plain, simple, natural; and yet at the same time solemn, majestic, moving; significant and full; sound and wholesome: it carries both light and heat in it, and is fitted equal ly to inform the understandings and inflame the afi fections of the wisest and weakest of Christians.

2. These prayers and praises are offered up in a premeditated form of words, with which every one is before acquainted: for this also I must reckon among the peculiar advantages of our way of worship towards fastening down the minds of men to that holy duty, wherein they were engaged. I grant indeed, that unpremeditated prayers, uttered with great fluency, with a devout warmth and earnestness, are apt to make strong and awakening impressions on the minds of the generality of hearers. But it may be doubted, whether the attention thus raised be not an attention rather of curiosity and surprise, than of real piety and sound devotion. For a good and conscientious man, who is to join in a prayer with which he was before unacquainted, must needs do it with some little diffidence and fear, lest there should be any thing, in the matter or manner of that prayer, improper and unbecoming: he must suspend his assent to those unknown requests, till he has so far considered them, as to be sure they are fit for him to agree in. And while he is thus employing his thoughts on one petition or sentence, another succeeds, which will require a like degree of suspense and deliberation : and this cannot but check his devotion, by dividing and breaking the force of his mind. Whereas he, who offers up his requests to God in a known and stated form, has no avocations of this kind to struggle with ; and can therefore apply himself directly and vigorously to his holy task, and ask in faith, nothing wavering.' He fears not lest unfitting requests should be made, or fit ones clothed in unsuitable language; and is therefore at leisure to excite all the powers and affections of his soul, and to engage them in that spiritual service. . This is a pecaliar advan



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